The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke and Sussex have unveiled a statue of their late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, on what would have been her 60th birthday.
It marks the first public appearance for the brothers since their grandfather’s funeral in April.
Today, on what would have been our Mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better. pic.twitter.com/jsZXyUsG7q
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) July 1, 2021
The brothers had the statue commissioned in 2017, also marking the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death, with the aim to memorialise their mother’s extraordinary life. They wanted to recognise the positive impact she had on people in the UK, but also around the world.
Today, they were joined by their uncle, Earl Spencer, and two aunts, Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale – Diana’s siblings – for the private event.
A single photographer captured some of the event in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace.
The garden was one of the Princess’ favourite locations when she lived there. More than 4,000 flowers have been planted for the garden’s redesign, which has taken 1,000 hours to complete and was started in 2019.
The statue aims to reflect the ‘warmth, character and energy’ of the late Princess of Wales. She is surrounded by three children, who represent the global scale and generational impact the Diana’s work had. Additionally, for many people, Diana was most noticeably comfortable when working with children.
The portrait and design reflects the later period of her life, as she gained the confidence in the public eye and in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes.
Beneath the statue, there is a plaque with her name and the date of the unveiling. In front of the statue sees an extract from the poem ‘The Measure of A Man’ and reads:
‘These are the units to measure the worth,
Of this woman as a women regardless of birth,
Not what was her station?
But had she a heart?
How did she play her God-given part?’
The sculpture was created by Ian Rank-Broadley, who is known for his images of The Queen, seen on British coins since 1998 and has created numerous royal commemorative coins. He also created the armed forces memorial at the heart of the National Memorial Arboretum.
Prince William and Prince Harry issued a joint statement following the unveiling: “Today on what would have been our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing counties lives for the better.
“Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy.
“Thank you to Ian Rank-Broadley, Pip Morrison and their teams for their outstanding work, to the friends and donors who helped make this happen, and to all those around the world who keep our mother’s memory alive.”
After the unveiling the sculptor said: “Diana, Princess of Wales was an icon who touched the lives of people right around the world, so it has been a privilege to work alongside Prince William and Prince Harry on this statue which commemorates her life.
“We wanted to capture her warmth and humanity while showcasing the impact she had across generations. I hope that people will enjoy visiting the statue and the Sunken Garden, and taking a moment to remember The Princess.”